This year’s Roswell Jazz Festival features an extra day of music for the town to enjoy. The festival will begin this Thursday with “Jazz on the Cool Side”at Pecos Flavors Winery from 7-9 p.m. Michael Francis, artistic director, said the decision to add the extra day at Pecos Flavors to the schedule was a no-brainer.
“Pecos Flavors Winery is one of our best venues,” he said. “It sells out every year, so what we decided to do was add another night at Pecos flavors. And to my knowledge, we’re sold out on Thursday night and real close to being sold out on Friday as well.
In addition to Francis on piano, the ensemble will feature vibraphone player Chuck Redd of Baltimore, Holly Hofmann, San Diego, on flute, Richard Simon, Los Angeles, on bass, Ricky Malachi, of El Paso, manning the drums, and last but certainly not least, the guest of honor Eddie Erickson, on guitar. Francis said Erickson is one of the returning artists and one of the most internationally acclaimed musicians to play at the festival. The show will be what Francis describes as more “exploratory jazz.” He feels the band will introduce the city to a different type of jazz, though still very enjoyable.
“There’s a couple reasons why I put this set together,” he said. “The festival is kind of traditionally oriented; there’s not anything real far out going on. That’s the way we have it because we feel like Roswell loves it that way. But this little individual group that I put together for Thursday night, is capable of playing more exploratory jazz.”
He defines that phrase to mean “reaching out and going new place,” and added that the music heard that night won’t be as predictable as some of the music heard throughout the weekend, but still pleasing to the traditional jazz lover’s ear.
Friday there will be a free concert on the courthouse lawn from 12-1:30 p.m. and that night’s set will get back to basics as Dr. Roger Dickerson accompanies Francis in a piano duet, along with the rhythm section from the previous night. Meanwhile, there will be a nine-piece band playing at Pepper’s. Both concerts are scheduled to run from 5 to 7 p.m.
Francis said it will be a weekend to remember as “the whole thing is just going to be bigger and better than ever.”
The remaining schedule for the weekend is as follows:
•11a.m-3 p.m., Ginsberg Music, Free
•7:30-11:15 p.m., Sally Port Ballroom, admission $30, students with ID, $10
•10:30-11:45 a.m., Pueblo Auditorium, Free
•12-1 p.m., First Presbyterian Church, admission, $10
•2-4 p.m., Anderson Museum, admission, $30